Teachers are required to earn a bachelor’s degree, complete education courses, gain student-teaching experience and pass a statewide exam to become certified. The state exam used to be referred to as the National Teacher Examination, commonly known as the NTE. However, the NTE teacher certification exam has been replaced with the Praxis Series tests, which consist of Praxis Series I and Praxis Series II tests.

Praxis Series Exam

Praxis Series tests are administered by the Educational Testing Service. Whereas the Praxis I test measures teachers’ reading, writing and math skills, the Praxis II test measures teachers’ subject matter expertise, and passing scores differ in each state. In addition, students who are enrolled in college may be required to take exams as they pursue degrees in education, but people who are changing professions may take the exams after all other educational requirements are satisfied.

Praxis I

People taking the Praxis I exam have two options, depending on the state in which they test. They can take computer-based or paper-based exams. The paper-based exam, which is administered in three parts, takes 3 hour to complete and consists of 118 questions and an essay. The computer-based exam takes approximately 5 hours to finish and comprises 136 questions and an essay. Students taking the computer or paper-based exams can complete them on separate days.

Praxis Two

Students required to pass the Praxis II tests may be able to take computer or paper-based exams also. The Praxis II is a three-part exam, which students may take as a unit or separately and on different days. Students who complete all three parts as one unit will have four hours to finish it. Some states only require that students complete one part, which tests their abilities to teach in core subjects.

Test Preparation

To prepare for the tests, you should first visit ETS.org to determine your state’s testing requirements. Once you determine the testing requirements, you can purchase material on the website and download it to your computer. You can also take classes that prepare you for the tests or purchase material from local bookstores. The Educational Testing Service also offers seminars on its website and additional resources to help you prepare for the exams.

Costs for Certification

Educational Testing Service charges a $50 registration fee as of 2011. Also, it charges $80 to take one part of the computer-based Praxis I test and $40 for each additional part. However, it discounts the rate if you take all three parts as a unit. The average cost of the Praxis II core subject tests is $80, but the rate varies based on the test, and there are additional fees such as late registration.


Teachers' salaries differ from state to state. For example, the average teacher earns $35,000 in South Dakota, but earns $60,000 in Connecticut. On average, most states pay teachers more than $40,000 a year, and there are annual increases which vary according to the states in which teachers reside.

Final Considerations

There are other considerations before becoming a certified teacher. For example, there are minimal grade point average and fingerprinting requirements. Prospective teachers may have to submit notarized statements. The teacher certification process in each state is outlined on ETS.gov, and you can also visit the Department of Education’s website in your state.